Military Space Operations:

Shuttle and Satellite Computer Systems Do Not Meet Performance Objectives

IMTEC-88-7: Published: Aug 5, 1988. Publicly Released: Aug 5, 1988.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the: (1) status, current plans, and supporting studies for the Air Force's Consolidated Space Operations Center; and (2) Air Force's long-range plans for computer and communications systems architecture to support satellite control.

GAO found that: (1) the Air Force did not meet its operational schedule estimates for the Center; (2) the Air Force expects to spend $1.85 billion, three times its original estimate, for new satellite control capabilities; (3) performance problems delayed transition of the systems to operational status; (4) future satellite control operations would require improved survivability and increased capacity and efficiency; (5) the Air Force was studying a new system architecture concept that would require more on-board satellite data processing to reduce reliance on ground facilities and would cost an estimated $48 billion; and (6) this concept would require development of a comprehensive plan specifying long-range goals, objectives, capabilities, and costs. GAO also found that, due to a congressional budget reduction of $29 million for the Center, the Department of Defense cancelled a planned shuttle complex at the Center.

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